Introduction and Cluster Basics

1.1. Introduction and Cluster Basics#

High-Performance Computing (HPC) refers to the use of supercomputers and parallel processing techniques to solve complex computational problems. HPC systems are designed to deliver high performance and are used for scientific, engineering, and data-intensive applications. These systems are capable of processing large volumes of data and performing complex calculations at a much faster rate than traditional computing systems. In this handbook, we will concentrate on utilizing HPC systems for research and applications in machine learning and artificial intelligence.


The Kempner Institute HPC cluster is a part of the FASRC compute environment. A through documentation of the FASRC cluster can be found here. This handbook is focused on the Kempner Institute HPC cluster and its specific configurations and usage.

1.1.1. Getting Access to the Cluster#

In order to access the Kempner Institute HPC cluster, you will need to have an account on the cluster. Use the following link to request access to the cluster.

For account approver please follow these instructions:

  • If you are in a Kempner-affiliated lab: Select PI as approver

  • If you are a graduate fellow:

    • FAS or SEAS Graduate Programs: Select your PI as approver

    • HMS Graduate Programs: Select your PI as approver, or if your PI isn’t listed or you do not yet have a PI select Spencer Pruitt

  • If you are an undergraduate student in a Kempner research program (KURE/KRANIUM):

    • If you are working with a mentor who is a co-director, institute investigator, or associate faculty:

      • Select your PI as approver

    • If you are working with a mentor who is an affiliate faculty member and you have been approved for Kempner cluster access (via email notification):

      • Select your PI as approver if they have an FASRC lab account (i.e. if they show up as option for approver)

      • Otherwise, request Ella Batty or Max Shad as approver

  • If you are a research fellow: Select Elise Porter as approver

  • If you are a PI: Email Elise Porter to get access to the cluster after you have submitted the request.

  • If none of the above: if you believe you are qualified to access the Kempner cluster, email Elise Porter.

Your approver will need to log in to the FASRC portal and approve your account creation request.